We are seeing more and more reports coming out about the involvement of B2B marketers in social media. That’s a very good sign and something that is necessary on many levels for marketing success in the future. Of course, with anything that is just getting traction in a particular space there are some hiccups.
eMarketer reports on a survey produced by the management consulting firm Accenture. The report is dated November 3 but the data comes from May of this year. First is a look at how B2B marketing executives see their level of engagement in social media.
Now one would expect marketing executives to say that they are involved in social media because that’s what all the cool kids are doing and there are now more and more rumblings from the C-suite in the vein of “Are we using The Twitter?”
What is most interesting about the findings is the next chart which shows some of changes that these executives see need to be made in order to more effectively use social media to their advantage.
Looking at any list of roadblocks to social media success that leads with “new tools and technology investments” should draw a serious red flag. In fact, looking at what is being concentrated on the most by these marketing executives looks almost “bass ackwards” to me.
If you perceive your issues in social media effectiveness to be about technology then you are likely concentrating in the wrong place. Looking at the basics of social media like Facebook, Twitter etc there is little technical need. Unless of course you are creating apps for platforms but the likelihood of that being a real B2B marketing need is not very high.
What gets the least amount of attention in this equation are two critical components which are greater collaboration across disciplines like sales, marketing and service and then a greater CEO conviction. These are two HUMAN elements that no technological advance can overcome and in fact technology, and the ability to “invest” in it (whatever that means to a social media marketer), have to be bought into by those who OK the expenditures ultimately like C level executives.
This is a classic case of putting tools over application of principles. The truth is that no matter how much you invest in the technology of social media it could all go for naught if the human elements like executive level buy in and cross discipline collaboration are not in place. These human elements should be the sole focus and primary needs of most marketers as it relates to social media. It’s not about the tools. It’s about the people, processes and principles that are applying the tools. There are companies that are “dressed to the nines” in the tech realm of social media but have no success while there are stories of individuals turning a single Twitter account into revenue saving and generating tools with just the right attitude and some time.
So what’s your take? Is social media more of a technology play or should that be secondary to the human side of the equation? Let us know.